The Arizona Diamondbacks will look to complete a four-game road sweep of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in a contest with National League playoff implications.
Arizona (75-68) scored its second one-run win in as many days on Saturday, 3-2, behind a two-run 10th inning. Tommy Pham drove in what proved to be the winning run, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made a spectacular catch in the bottom of the 10th to prevent a Cubs’ run.
“When we needed to, we rebounded, we did the things we were supposed to do,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said in his postgame news conference. “We played fast. We played aggressively. We played fearless, and it showed up at the right times and helped us win the game. I can give you 15 things that took place today where, if it doesn’t go that way, we might have a totally different outcome.”
Saturday’s win followed a 1-0 Diamondbacks victory on Friday. Arizona opened the series with a 6-2 win Thursday.
Arizona, currently holding the third and final wild-card spot in the National League, has pulled within a game of Chicago (76-67) in the race on the strength of this series.
“We went through obviously some struggles and challenges early in the year, but this is a resilient bunch,” Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson told the Chicago Tribune following Saturday’s loss. “We’ve proven time and time again we will bounce back. These games have been competitive. It’s not like we’re laying down.”
Swanson went 2-for-5 on Saturday and Cody Bellinger went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, but the Cubs struggled to create offense. Chicago will look to jump-start its bats at the expense of the Diamondbacks’ Sunday starter, right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (1-8, 6.27 ERA). The rookie earned his first career win on Aug. 25, striking out five and limiting the Cincinnati Reds to two runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 10-8 Diamondbacks victory.
Pfaadt has lost his past two starts, most recently giving up three runs — all earned — over 3 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.
Sunday will be Pfaadt’s first career game against the Cubs. He is 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA in three appearances against National League Central opponents.
Kyle Hendricks (5-7, 3.73 ERA) will start for Chicago in pursuit of his first win since Aug. 20. He has not had a decision in his past two appearances, both Cubs wins. In a 3-2 outcome Aug. 30 vs. Milwaukee, Hendricks went six innings without allowing an earned run and struck out six.
His last time out, the right-hander gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in an 11-8 Chicago win over San Francisco on Tuesday.
Hendricks is 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in nine career appearances — all starts — against Arizona.
Arizona’s Ketel Marte, who is batting .275 with 22 home runs this season, came out of Saturday’s game with knee soreness. Lovullo told reporters he expects Marte to play on Sunday, but Marte was to be evaluated overnight.
–Field Level Media
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